Alfred Gough and Miles Millar, creators and executive producers of “Smallville,” announced on Wednesday night they are planning to leave The CW series to focus full time on feature films.
In an open letter to fans, Gough says “We are incredibly proud of our work on this show. We achieved what we set out to do. We never compromised our vision. We leave knowing that Smallville is the longest-running comic book based series of all-time”.
The series, which follows a pre-Superman Clark Kent, is about to finish up its seventh season with 152 episodes completed. In spite of the several months long writer’s strike, the show has only been minimally impacted this year with its usual 22-episode count dropped to a still solid 20 episode run.
An eighth season has been greenlit, but with several of its key regulars (Kristin Kreuk as Lana, Michael Rosenbaum as Lex Luthor) returning in only guest roles next year, it’s generally expected that the eighth season will be the show’s last.
Despite being The CW’s most stable hit, and its biggest international money maker, the show has loomed under the threat of non-renewal for several years now. With a premise that demands the show wraps up in a very specific way, most criticisms lobbed at the show have been at the way it’s dragging out many of its storylines, or throwing in useless elements such as the supernatural witch subplot of the fourth season.
Yet when the show followed the Superman mythology closer starting in the fifth season, the show drew in new praise. It’s subsequent seasons haven’t been as strong, but certain episodes have been singled out as amongst the series best.
No word yet as to who’ll replace the pair as showrunners but with 22 episodes left in the canon, and only limited access to key characters like Lex and Lana, whoever does is inheriting a hefty burden.
Gough and Millar, who penned this summer’s “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”, are presently adapting “Jungle Cruise” for Disney Pictures. They’re also producing a movie for Disney which starts shooting in May.